GC Opera: “Languages of Love”
A man takes his lover’s hand, their voices moving back and forth as they court each other center stage. A single pianist plays behind them, accompanying the changing baritone-soprano pitches.
The opening act of “The Languages of Love,” GC’s first opera compilation show in over 10 years, embodies the theme of passionate love with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s classic Papageno duet.
This opera compilation show includes eight acts from Mozart, Johann Strauss and Claudio Monteverdi and was performed on Tuesday, Nov. 13, in the original languages of Italian and German.
Youngmi Kim, director of the show, carefully chose each act to represent the complexity of the various elements of romance.
“Most of the operas are all about love, so the scenes are related to love in different settings,” Kim said.
The 10 students who performed in the show have spent the entire fall semester learning the complex German and Italian diction required.
The fourth act, “Alla bella Despinetta,” from Mozart’s opera “Cosi Fan Tutte,” is a sextet, requiring six vocalists to achieve the original performance.
“The one from the sextet is the hardest thing we have to do,” said performer Jared Etheridge, a junior and music major. “It’s lightning fast, and there’s so many words.”
The fast-paced singing poses difficulty to not only the performers but also to members of the audience unfamiliar with foreign languages.
“For the audience who has never been to the opera, we are providing the narrator to help them understand what is going on and who the characters are,” Kim said. “We also provide the translation, so they will be able to follow the lines and what the singers are singing about.”
The finale of the show, “Champagne Finale,” is the only piece performed in English.
“It’s a very big piece, and there are only eight of us, so at one point it splits into an eight-part harmony,” said performer Jacob McDonald, a senior music major.
We intricate vocals of opera have challenged the performers on their journey preparing for the show.
“It sounds like similar lines, but they do little different things, and those little different things are what makes it really pretty, so you know you have to help bring those out any way you can,” McDonald said.
For music lovers interested in a unique show, the opera provided a diverse theatrical entertainment experience, according to Dr. Kim.
“Opera is total artwork,” Kim said. “It has drama, it has singing, it has acting, it has sets, and we will try to show everything.”